Detroit Confidential – 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2015 Suburban. It was first introduced in 1935, thus the redesigned 2015 version marks the Suburban’s 80th year of continuous production. It also means that, currently, ‘Suburban’ is also the longest serving nameplate in the industry.
Although today, crossovers tend to dominate the SUV market in North America, big, body-on-frame full-size behemoths still have a following and remain popular for those that want the additional space, towing capacity and durability that most crossovers simply can’t provide. And that’s reflected in solid demand for Chevrolet and GMC’s big utilities and the high profile status Cadillac continues to enjoy with the Escalade.
According to General Motors, more than 117,000 Chevy Suburbans and its shorter wheelbase counterpart, the Tahoe, were sold in 2012, and during the first six months of 2013, the total was up by 16% over the previous year. As a result the General still sees these trucks as worthy of continued investment, hence the substantial update for the 2015 model year.
In GM’s continuing efforts to differentiate its big SUVs from their pick-up counterparts, the 2015 Tahoe and Suburban boast unique body panels and styling that is more sculpted and distinctive than the outgoing model. The front end is particularly aggressive with its ‘winged’ headlights and prominent grille.
Other key improvements over last year include upgraded interior fittings (long considered a sore point among the motoring press) and greater second row legroom, up to 12 individual charging stations for electronic devices, plus an available front seat centre airbag in bucket seat equipped models (the first in the segment).
On the technical side, a stronger frame, wider rear track, new electrically assisted variable rate steering, an improved four-wheel disc brake system with
extended life rotors, plus recalibrated engine electronics, including a more aggressive cylinder deactivation system and throttle control, are some of the highlights.
Just one standard powertrain option is available on both rigs – that being GM’s proven 5.3 litre small-block pushrod V8 coupled with a 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission. Both two- and four- wheel drive versions are offered, as are 20in and 22in wheels (in chrome of course). All 2015 Tahoes and Suburbans are built at GM’s Arlington, Texas, assembly complex (where full-size SUV production is now concentrated) and went on sale during the first quarter of this year.